by Judy Mullican
As I sit at my desk, snow is falling in big fluffy flakes and covering the ground. There is something magical about the way snow transforms the dull browns of winter into a frosty fairyland. I’ve lived in enough different places to know that winter can be very different for others! Some readers may be wearing shorts and T-shirts and looking at blue skies. Others may be experiencing a steamy, damp day.
In some parts of the country, children have never seen snow. So does it make sense to carry out experiences related to snow? Each child care provider should make a decision based on what she knows about the children in her care. But in my experience, children are interested in learning about snow even when they live in warmer parts of the country. They typically have seen snow on television and in movies, and have often read books about snowy places. They are curious to learn more. So if your children are interested in snow and no snow is available, what do you do? Here are a few ideas!
Shaved Ice: Fill a water table or plastic tub with shaved ice. Provide mitten and let the children explore. Talk about how cold the ice feels. You may also want to offer small plastic shovels for digging.
Artificial Snow: SnoWonder® is a nontoxic polymer that looks and feels a lot like snow! This material is available from FunShine Express®.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Snowballs by Lois Ehlert
Biscuit’s Snowy Day by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
Snowball Fight: Crush sheets of white paper and invite the children to toss them at each other for a pretend snowball fight. They can also pile up the crushed paper to make mounds of pretend snow.
Building Snowmen: Stuff different sizes of white garbage bags with newspaper or similar materials and tie them off. The children can stack them to create pretend snowmen. They can cut construction paper to make shapes to glue on for faces and buttons. You can even offer hats and scarves. (Note: Be sure to supervise to be sure the children use the materials safely. Empty plastic bags are a suffocation danger.)
Watch Snow: Children may enjoy watching videos of snow falling. Many are available online. Just be sure to screen the videos before sharing to be sure they are appropriate for your group. Here is one to consider, but there are many more: www.youtube.com/watch?v=oT4Bq8zYN4E